sport

Pearson gives Phillips praise

Leicester boss Nigel Pearson believes new signing Kevin Phillips will have a big impact on his side's bid to reach the Barclays Premier League for the first time in 10 years.

Phillips, 40, marked his Leicester debut after signing until the end of the season this week by stepping off the bench in the second half to help set up David Nugent's late winner in a 1-0 success at Leeds.

Leicester secured a sixth straight league win for the first time in 21 years.

Phillips played a key role in his new side's 87th-minute winner as he deftly stepped over defender Liam Moore's cross into the box to let the ball run through for Nugent, who duly stabbed the ball home.

Pearson said: "He has a presence and a reputation, for somebody who's the age he is, to be able to get into a game as quickly as he did.

"It's testament to how he's looked after himself and it's not just the physical side of it, when you get older, to still have that desire and that hunger to play is quite remarkable.

"There won't be too many players of his ilk and I'm delighted that we've got him.

"He showed an awful lot of intelligence out there. Hopefully that will be important for us in the second half of the season."

Nugent's late strike was tough on Leeds, who slipped to a fourth straight league defeat.

"We made a lot of mistakes, let's be clear on this, it was probably a bit hard on Leeds," Pearson added.

"It depends on how you want to look at it. Some people could argue we were a bit fortunate, or from our perspective we would say that, on a day that it wasn't a polished performance, we showed different qualities and were able to get ourselves out of tricky situations."